August 17, 2006 – In New York City next Wednesday, a public hearing will help determine if 20 or more cyclists riding together can be cited for parading without a permit or approved route. We’re not making this up – it’s a proposed change to the city’s parade regulations, spearheaded by the police department.
It gets crazier: Two or more cyclists who violate any traffic law on a public street could be arrested for parading without a permit. (Pedestrians, in different numbers, would be liable too.)
As reported by cyclingnews.com, the potential ramifications of the proposed regulations have raised the ire of the NYC advocacy group Transportation Alternatives, as well as the city’s racing and recreational cycling clubs. They’re urging members to fight the proposal at the hearing or by contacting elected officials.
The NYPD’s rationale for the parade policy: Groups of cyclists have “the likelihood to significantly disrupt vehicular and pedestrian traffic and adversely affect public health and safety, unless subject to regulatory control via the permitting process. The amendments to the rules will permit the Police Department to adequately preserve the public peace and prevent obstructions of public streets and sidewalks.”